Dependency and Importance

Do you feel out of touch when you haven't logged onto Facebook for a while? Would you be sorry if Facebook shut down?

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Respondent 1

J: Okay, so you do this fairly often, do you feel like you’re outa touch when you haven’t been able to drop online, on Facebook?

I: I feel like if I haven’t checked it for a while it’s a burden because maybe there will be a bunch of messages or something like that, that I should respond to.

J: So it’s almost a burden, explain that?

I: Okay, so…

J: What’s this about a burden?

I: You know, like I find it, like if there’s 20 emails stacked up I have to check them all and I have to respond if necessary.  So… same with Facebook.  If I don’t check it for a while then there will be like 50 requests or something I’ll have to go through those.

J: So it feels kind of like an obligation then? So would you be sad if it were shut down then?

I: Umb… I think it would probably cut off some communication that I have with other friends from [laugh]

J: The burden would be gone [laugh]

I: Yeah I guess that’s true, the burden is outweighed by the communication with friends that I normally can’t talk to on the phone, so I guess I wouldn’t be upset… it would just be an inconvenience I guess, I guess it’s more of a convenience than a burden.

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Respondent 2

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J: So say your phone ran out of batteries or something, and you were out of touch with Facebook for a while , would you feel really out of touch in general?

I: Yeah, the time that I was off Facebook from Wednesday to I think about, Tuesday, there was a lot of stuff going on, you know when you got all the exams coming up

J: Was this then, before the interview you mentioned to me you temporarily closed your profile?

I: Yeah, that’s like, you know how you hear about events and stuff, and I wouldn’t hear about events. There were like three things over the weekend that I was supposed to go to, and I’m like, somebody comes and like “You gonna come?” and I was like no… and I had to rush and get ready for that stuff… I see like how much Facebook has.

J: So it actually sounds like you were almost held accountable for it, you were talking about you were missing an event because the only way you’d be contacted about that event was on Facebook.

I: Right

J: So it’s sort of become like expected of you, almost like a dependency. 

I: Right, what would we do without Facebook?

J: Well we go back to the olden days when we call somebody

I: yeah a mass text message or something

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Respondent 3

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J: So do you feel out of touch when you haven’t logged on. You mention you log on daily.

I: Sometimes there are a lot of these wall post things. And I would have to get back to them, but sometimes I’m too late, especially if it’s invitations from friends to go to parties, and I’ve already missed it, and that might be too late.

J: So would you say then that you’d miss it if it were shut down?

I: Yeah.  A lot, I think [laugh]. It’s fun, like creeping up on friends, Facebook stalking them and looking on their albums and seeing what they’re doing.  I think a lot of people do it too.

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Respondent 4

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J: ok cool we kinda jumped around to the communication topic, so going back to this everyday routine thing, would you be sorry if Facebook was shut down? You mentioned that you’re on it a lot during finals but…

I:uh, I think it would be trouble for a lot of people and cause a lot of drama, but overall I think it would probably be a good thing for me because I can go months without needing it, and then I can go, I can go on it multiple times in a day, and it’s kind of like, oh its there so I might as well check it, but if it wasn’t there I wouldn’t miss it.

J:ok so you wouldn’t be all that sorry if it were shut down. Ok would you feel out of touch if you weren’t able to log on?

I:  I think the more I go on it, the more I feel like its addictive, like the more I go on it the more I feel like in need to be checking it, but I uh I’ll give it up, I gave it up for lent, and even after lent was over I just didn’t really go on it because pretty much if you stop talking to people then they stop talking to you so its like nobody is really missing me there, and I’m not missing many parts of it so there’s really no point in going on.

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Respondent 5

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J: Do you feel out of touch when you haven’t been on Facebook lately?

I:Yeah, cause I went to Florida over spring break and we were gone for 4 days and we didn’t have a computer or anything to go on Facebook, and by the end of the trip I was so excited to sign on because I knew I had a lot of stuff built up from the last 4 days, I dunno, it’s not like an obsession where I have to be on Facebook or else I’ll crazy but it definitely crosses my mind.


J: So you would still miss Facebook if it were gone?

I:Yeah I would never want to delete my Facebook… maybe when I’m older.

J:How would that work?  The same way MySpace worked?

I:Yeah I’m sure Facebook will just fade out, I mean after college, or whatever when I start a family I’m not going to be going on Facebook.

J:Do you think you’ll just change how you use the service when you get older?

I:Yeah maybe I would—cause I know my sister, she’s a senior and she’s going into education and she had to student teach a 6th grade class and she noticed—this is for MySpace, not Facebook, and she noticed a couple of her students requested her friendship on MySpace so she was like “oh know” and so she deleted it and kind of cut down on a lot of stuff on her Facebook, just deleted pictures of alcohol and stuff just because she didn’t want to be put in a negative light. And I know a lot of my high school teachers have Facebooks, and after graduation they requested my friendship and it was no big deal.

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Respondent 6

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J: Alright, so on that note then, it sounds like you’re connected to different things there, would you feel out of touch if you were not on Facebook?

I:Yeah, even so I think I would.  I know that doesn’t make sense because I don’t do too much with it.  But at least you’re there, and not out of it.  Hypothetically if something happened-

J: Sounds like you’re receiving information, whether or not you’re there that much.

I:So yeah people do invite you to events.  You’re still there even if you’re not there.

J:Would you be sad if it were shut down?

I:Would I be sad? It would be a lot of waste of time for a lot of people.  I don’t think I’d be depressed or anything.  I’d be surprised.

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Respondent 7

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J: When you haven’t been on Facebook in a while do you feel out of touch?

I:Yeah! Kinda, I feel like I’m missing out, because Facebook is pretty much just a gossip magazine, you know, like everything, all your friends, all your minifeeds, stories come up, like [name] and [name] are no longer in a relationship and you’re like “what happened?” Everybody’s business is on Facebook, some people hate that like, but yeah so I do feel kinda out of touch.

J:If it were ever deleted or gone you’d—

I:Oh my god no!

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Respondent 8

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J: Okay, so you mentioned you talk to a lot of people on Facebook, like your sisters and stuff, if you don’t or didn’t have access to Facebook, would you feel out of touch?

I:Umb, maybe, I think at least like with my sisters, you know we’re close enough that I could like call them and everything. Facebook is a way that it’s not that personal, you know, so you can just pretty much have contact with them but not actually have to call them or anything.

J: So you might feel out of touch, but would you miss it if it were gone?

I:I think I would, because it’s a lot easier.  Umb, I don’t have to remember things.  It like keeps track of all of the events, like people create events like birthdays and everything and you have your newsfeed, which updates you on stuff, and it just helps me feel more in touch outside of U of I.

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Respondent 9

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J: Would you miss it if it were ever deleted or gone or something?

I:A little bit at first, but I think I’d get used to it.

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Respondent 10

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J: Do you feel out of touch when you don’t have a chance to jump on Facebook?

I:Or I’ll get excited because I might have more notifications. Like if I don’t check all day, I’ll have them built up, anticipation.